WoW TBC Classic’s Skewed Population Problem
Where one faction dominates servers
It’s a problem that started when the Burning Crusade Classic was released. Horde users started flocking into PvP servers, while Alliance players dominated PvE ones. While the ‘Faction War’ is almost a superfluous aspect of the game at this point, there’s one activity where it matters very much. That is the Arena and other PvP features, which could explain why the Horde started dominating servers. What Alliance player can take getting ganked every time they try farming WoW TBC gold or trying to finish quests?
Since they can’t thrive in PvP servers, they’ve flocked into PvE ones instead. Sure, Alliance-dominated PvP servers exist, but majority-Horde ones outnumber them by a wide margin. We’ll explore the reasons why this happened, and its effects on the game.
A Few Reasons
It’s been mentioned that Horde does better in PvP than the Alliance. This is because of the racial abilities of a few Horde races. Notable skills include the Undead’s Will of the Forsaken and Cannibalize. The former lets the character shake off Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects (with a 2-minute cooldown). Those three are powerful CC statuses and being able to cure yourself of them provides great utility.
Cannibalize lets the character regain health if there are Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yards of the player. This is useful in Battleground situations where there will always be corpses around. It also has a 2-minute cooldown, but the ability to regain health is still a tremendous advantage.
With these kinds of almost abilities available only on the Horde side, it’s no surprise that the Horde’s population boomed during this expansion. This has snowballed into the current situation, where the Horde dominates certain servers, and the Alliance dominates others. Once in a blue moon you’ll see a server that’s balanced (though they exist).
The Effects of a Skewed Population
One of the biggest effects of this skewed population is in the queues for Arena and Battlegrounds battles. If there are no Alliance players, who can Horde players play against? Blizzard tried to alleviate this with Same-Faction Matchups, but it doesn’t solve the root of the problem.
It has also hurt world PVP. With all players on a server being on the same side, there’s nobody to gank when out and about, hunting for TBC items or farming TBC Classic gold. Of course, Alliance players mostly flocked onto PvE servers, which makes this a moot point for them. However, the faction disparity lets them really relax since they have utterly no reason to be afraid of gankers.
Server transfers are possible, but that’s locked behind a $25 paywall which doesn’t seem to be worth it. Besides, you’ll likely end up transferring again once everybody migrates to another server. This also led to abandoned servers where there’s only a handful of active players. That’s a player count of a few hundred or so (sometimes less) players, mind you.
While there are still many WoW TBC Classic players, this kind of population distribution isn’t sustainable. It has gotten to the point where players are canceling their subscriptions due to this problem. It doesn’t help that a brand-new MMORPG has come out as well.
There are proposals to disable racial skills for Arena, which would even out the playing field. This way, it doesn’t matter whether you play as Alliance or Horde, everything’s even. Another proposal is to merge servers to get faction balance. However, this is difficult to do since most Horde-dominated servers are PvP while Alliance ones are PvE.
While these radical changes are unlikely to be implemented (it is a recreation of an old game after all), there should be incentives to play as Alliance, at least in PvP. If Racial skills were balanced, this would lead to an equalizing effect on faction ratios on any given server.
It’s a problem to address, maybe more so than those trying to buy TBC gold or . The game isn’t exactly dying, players will probably come back after a significant update. However, it’s more urgent for Blizzard because they’re losing subscriptions due to it.
Ignoring problems never make them go away, and often, it only makes them worse. It’s in Blizzard’s best interest to find a solution to this before even more players start quitting the game. Still, there are things to find enjoyable in the game, so keep on having fun playing the game!